23 Life Lessons I Learned From My Dad

Sunday is Father’s Day– a very special day for Dads everywhere. I have had the great fortune of growing up with a father that girls dream of. I say this with tremendous love and pride. His initials are G.E.M., and that is just what he is.

When I left the nest, I chose another amazing father.  I am blessed to have these two dads in my life.

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Lunch with these two dads this week

So today I wanted to pay tribute to them. If you’re a new reader, this will be new. If you’re an old reader, this will be a re-run… kinda like a tv show. 😉

It’s age before beauty, so let’s start with Dad #1. Dad, this one’s for you, and for my thousands of women readers around the world. Here are 23 life lessons I have learned from my dad. They are for everyone.

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  1. You must be a person of your word. This is synonymous with integrity. Your word must be honorable. And you must do what you say you are going to do.
  2. I learned that a handshake is as strong as any signed contract in business. My father’s handshake is his word. I have tried to make mine the same.
  3. He is the reason I know how to close a business deal and although I sold my business eight years ago, that skill still feels very palpable today.
  4. He is the one who taught me, “The Art of the Schmooze.” Not because he’s phony. No way. Because he genuinely has an interest in every race, culture, ethnicity and religion in this world. He is a lover of all people, and he is a sponge. As am I.
  5. He is the reason I love Billy Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Earth Wind and Fire, Kool & The Gang, Stevie Wonder, Basia (bet you never heard of her), Anita Baker, Frank Sinatra, Quincy Jones, Michael Jackson, Tony Bennett, Barbara Streisand, and more. Sense a theme here? We’re both still stuck in the 70’s (or earlier), but it’s our comfort zone! He has given me my great appreciation and ear for music.
  6. He is also the one responsible for giving me my appreciation of great food and great wine. I die for both.
  7. He taught me to always cut the cloth according to the measure. If you don’t know what that means, Google it.
  8. He taught me to always face the music, no matter how dark it may sound.
  9. He taught me not to spend next week’s paycheck.
  10. He taught me to love what you have, and have what you love.
  11. He taught me that family comes first.
  12. He taught me about kindness and loyalty.
  13. He taught me to always plan ahead. I am like a girl scout today… I always plan ahead. And not only do we both plan ahead, we anticipate the other person’s response, and are therefore constantly in problem solving mode. We’re ready for ANYTHING.
  14. He taught me that you can never have enough underwear or shampoo. A person must stock up on both. Ok, maybe that one isn’t one you can truly learn from, but it is a lesson I learned by watching him, nevertheless.
  15. He taught me that growing up lacking many resources makes you stronger in the end and is not a bad thing. Fortunately, I didn’t learn that one first hand, but I may as well have. It’s been ingrained in me since birth. I have an immense value for a dollar. I eat every morsel of food on my plate… Every. Single. Morsel. I conserve. I don’t waste. I’m most comfortable in sweats, no makeup and being unfancy. And I know that bad things happen for a reason, and we must never ignore the message.
  16. I learned that a great massage and a great workout are one of life’s great treats.
  17. He taught me how to be confident and humble, all in the same breath.
  18. He taught me how to give of my time, always give back and volunteer.
  19. He taught me how to ask for what I need and not to be shy.
  20. He taught me how to venture outside my backyard and learn about other cultures, and ways of life.
  21. He taught me it’s ok to try bad things, just don’t make a habit out of it. Like when I tried smoking at eight years old and he then bought me a pack of Craven A’s as a joke. Cool guy.
  22. He taught me to never try to keep up with Joneses as most of them are just smoke and mirrors. He told me it’s best to just live under the radar.
  23. He taught me how to always see my glass as half full, and how to SMILE.

Dad, you are my confidante, my mentor, my inspiration. I hope you realize what you mean to me. Thank you for everything.

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My wedding day. Look at how my dad is looking at me.

To the other father in my life, my incredible husband: it has been three years since I surprised you with this video. To watch you interact with our boys on a daily basis, is both a privilege and an honor. Enjoy this Father’s Day treat. Our favorite song. 😉

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To my wonderful father-in-law, thank you for welcoming me so warmly into your family before I even became your daughter-in-law. Thank you for showing me what generosity and kindness looks like, and for being such a wonderful grandfather to our boys. And to ALL the fathers celebrating life, family, and your children this Sunday, I salute you. And to those who will be celebrating without a father this year, I wish you great strength and many blessings. And still to those for whom Father’s Day is a difficult day due to circumstance, may you find love and comfort.

Happy Father’s Day to all. Happy Dancing!

Happy Father’s Day to all the daddies. How will you be celebrating Father’s Day on Sunday? What lessons did you learn from YOUR father?

Erica3

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